Strength Training Safety
Strength training is an important component of an overall health and fitness regimen. Oftentimes, it is also incorporated into physical therapy programs designed to address back pain or help a patient recover from surgery. In addition to increasing bone density, creating lean muscle mass, burning calories, and reducing body fat, strength training can also enhance the strength and endurance of the core muscles that support the body’s weight, helping to alleviate painful pressure on the spine.
Of course, in order to maximize these benefits and minimize the risk of injury, strength training must be performed properly. Before you begin this or any other new form of exercise, be sure to receive clearance from your doctor. The best way to ensure good lifting technique is to work with an experienced physical therapist or athletic trainer.
Here are some other tips to help you get the most out of your workout:
- Prior to each session, perform some stretches and light aerobic activity to warm up your muscles.
- With the guidance of a trainer, create a targeted training program with appropriate goals based on factors like your age, physical condition, and the reasons you are weight training. Your program should detail the types of exercises you will perform, the amount of weight you will use, the number of repetitions per session, the frequency of sessions, and when you will increase the weight.
- If you use weight machines, free weights, or resistance tubing, make sure the equipment is in good condition.
- When lifting, wear supportive shoes with good traction, and keep your back straight.
- Don’t hold your breath; instead, breathe out as you lift.
- Don’t compromise your technique by lifting more weight than you know you can handle.
- Always listen to your body; while mild muscle soreness is normal, you should stop immediately if you experience pain.
- Cool down afterward with some light stretching.
- In general, to allow your body time to recover, you should rest at least one full day between exercising each major muscle group.
Strength training can provide noticeable results in the form of increased strength and stamina relatively quickly – often in as little as two weeks. Most people benefit from two or three 20-30 minute training sessions per week.
If you’d like to discuss strength-training safety or any other health- or wellness-related topic with a physician, please contact or visit South Tampa Immediate Care. Our walk-in clinic is conveniently located on South Howard Avenue in Tampa, FL, and no appointments are necessary.